The Literary Thing

The Literary Thing: History, Poetry, and the Making of a Modern Cultural Sphere by Rosinka Chaudhuri from Oxford University Press (India).


Mapping a crucial fifty years in nineteenth-century Bengal—from 1831 to 1881—this book explores the formulation of a modern literary culture in Bengal. Analysing the excitement, controversy, and debate generated around the works of Iswarchandra Gupta, Rangalal Bandyopadhyay, Madhusudan Datta, Hemchandra Bandopadhyay , Nabinchandra Sen, and Rabindranath Tagore, and examining certain cultural turning points in the history of Bengali literature, it investigates the place of the aesthetic, the political, and the collective in the making of a modern cultural sphere and its relevance and significance to our self-making as Indians.

Providing a new understanding of the interactive, living, and cataclysmic nature of debates leading up to, and concurrent with, the period which has been identified and then reviled as a period of renaissance or false renaissance, The Literary Thing reveals how this unique time is one in which an answer to the question of the shape of the Indian modern in part lies.


Rs.  995, in hardback, 400 pages, ISBN: 9780198089667

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